Contact Us

   

ITS Help Desk @ the Manila Campus,
Rm. 305, Gokongwei Hall, De La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, 1004 Manila, Philippines

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ITS Help Desk @ the Makati Extension Campus (MEC),
5/F, RCBC Plaza Tower II, 6819 Ayala Avenue, 1200 Makati City, Philippines

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ITS Help Desk @ the Science and Technology Complex (STC),
W401, Milagros del Rosario Building, LTI Spine Road, Brgys. Binan and Malamig, Binan, Laguna 4024, Philippines

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Understanding why some users do not receive your messages since the conversion to name-based e-mail

May 11, 2009

With the implementation of name-based email, the Information Technology Center has received reports that there are instances when some users do no receive e-mails. After investigating this problem, ITC has found that this has nothing to do with the server.

Probable causes of this problem may be any of the following:

  • Sender uses cached auto-complete e-mail address in Outlook e-mail client.
  • Recipient has two name-based email addresses: an employee account and a student account.
  • Sender mistakenly sent e-mail to the recipient's other e-mail address. (to the student account e-mail instead of the employee account e-mail and vice versa).

The following is a guide to avoid experiencing this problem.
If you are the sender:

  • Double-check the email address before sending the email (especially if there is more than one cached email address of the recipient in your Outlook email client.



    • Type the first few characters of the name of the recipient.
      Note: the word enclosed in < > is not the user’s email address



    • Select the email address you want to send an email to.



    • To double-check if you got the email address, double-click the name of the recipient.
    • If you see something like this, you are sending the email to the student email account of the recipient.



    • If you see something like this, you are sending the email to the employee email address of the recipient.



  • Optional: You may delete the extra cached email address in your Outlook email client so you don't send it to the recipient’s other mailbox (example: delete the recipient's student email address so you always sends to recipient's employee email address).



    • Type the first few characters of the name of the recipient.
    • Outlook's auto-complete feature will display the list of email addresses.
    • Use the down arrow key to select the email address you want to delete.



    • Click the Delete key on your keyboard



 

If you are the recipient:

  • If sender claims he/she sent an email and you did not receive it in your employee email account, check whether the email was sent to your student's email account.

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Understanding the issues on the "Outlook is retrieving data" message in Outlook 2002 and 2003

May 12, 2008

If you are running your My.LaSalle email through Microsoft Outlook, you may have noticed that a dialog balloon that contains the message “Outlook is trying to retrieve data from the Microsoft Exchange Server <server name>” occasionally appears on your notification bar. If you are disturbed by the appearance of this message, it is important to understand why this happens, and what you can do about it.

Microsoft Help and Support briefly describes why this feature was added, how this feature works, and why users should expect to occasionally receive this message:

The "retrieving data" message

The "retrieving data" message is a feature in Outlook 2002 and in Outlook 2003. The message informs the user that Outlook is retrieving data, and it specifies the resource that Outlook is contacting. The resource is the server that Outlook is contacting, and the name of that server appears in the message.

The Cancel command in the dialog box lets users cancel the data retrieval if the user wants to. The message is helpful when you are troubleshooting because it tells the user the name of the server that Outlook is trying to retrieve data from.

In Outlook 2002, the message is as follows:
Outlook is retrieving data from the Microsoft Exchange Server server_name. You can cancel the request or minimize this message to the Windows taskbar until Outlook closes the message automatically.
In Outlook 2003, the message resembles the following message:

Outlook is trying to retrieve data from  		  the Microsoft Exchange Server <servername>.

History

Microsoft Outlook 2000 users may notice that the program appears to stop responding when the user tries to send mail, receive mail, check appointments, or create appointments. When the program appears to stop responding, the user sees an hourglass icon, and the keyboard may not respond. The hourglass icon disappears and the keyboard responds after Outlook 2000 obtains the information it requires.

Because of user feedback, the Outlook product group added the "retrieving data" message in Outlook 2002.

Mechanics

In Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003, when Outlook requests data from a Microsoft Exchange computer, Outlook calls a function that wraps the remote procedure call (RPC) to the Exchange computer. This wrapper is the CancelableRPC wrapper. By default, this wrapper starts a timer and then issues the remote procedure call. The timer stops when a response is received. However, if the remote procedure call for data takes more than five seconds to return the data, the wrapper produces the “retrieving data” message. The dialog box that contains the message remains on the screen until the remote procedure call is answered or until the user clicks Cancel. If the action that the user performs in Outlook creates multiple remote procedure calls, the message could appear one time for each remote procedure call.

Because of the design of this feature in Outlook 2002, the Outlook 2002 user interface (UI) stops responding while the “retrieving data” message is displayed in a dialog box. In Outlook 2003 running in Cached Exchange Mode, this feature has been redesigned. Most of the time in Outlook 2003 running in Cached Exchange Mode, when the "retrieving data" message is displayed in a balloon, users can continue to use Outlook.

You receive this message as part of the standard interoperation of Outlook and Exchange. Even on the fastest network that has the best hardware and architecture, some remote procedure calls will take more than five seconds to obtain a response. This is a simple fact, and the appropriate expectations should be set with users. If the message appears only occasionally, no extensive troubleshooting is required. Trying to troubleshoot when the message appears only occasionally is not likely to be productive.

Remote procedure call is a sequential transport. When a remote procedure call is made, it must be answered, or the remote procedure call session must be restarted. This is different from a protocol like the Internet Protocol (IP) where packets can be received in any order and then reconstructed on the other side. This understanding is fundamental when you try to troubleshoot problems that are related to remote procedure calls that can be canceled from the dialog box or the balloon that contains the "receiving data" message.

The ITC-Help Desk recommends users running My.LaSalle through Microsoft Outlook to set the program in Cached Exchange Mode so they can continue using Outlook even while it is trying to retrieve data from the server.

View the procedures on Enabling Cached Exchange Mode in Outlook

Reference:

Microsoft. (2007).Description of the support process for issues that are related to the "Outlook is retrieving data" message in Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003.
Retrieved May 12, 2008 from Microsoft Help and Support Web site: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/892764

 

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Choosing A Good Password

January 9, 2008

What is a Password?

A password is a second part of an access code. It is a secret series of characters that enables a user to access a file, computer, or program. It helps ensure that unauthorized users do not access the computer or particular data files and programs.

Most personal computers have no log-on procedure--you just turn the machine on and begin working. But for larger systems and networks, you usually need to enter a user name (also called a log-in name) and password before the computer system will allow you to execute programs.

Choosing a Password

A good password is an essential part of security. For this purpose, a user must choose a good password. Ideally, a good password should be something that nobody can guess. In practice, most people choose a password that is easy to remember, such as their name or their initials, birthday or any other word related to them. This is one reason it is relatively easy to break into most computer systems.

There are several points to consider in getting a good password. Among them are the following:

  • Don't use your log-in name
  • Don't use any personal information associated with the owner of the account. For example, don't use initials, phone number, social security number, job title, organizational unit, etc.
  • Don't use keyboard sequences, e.g., qwerty.
  • Don't use an all-numeric password.
  • Don't use a sample password, no matter how good, that you've gotten from a book that discusses computer security.
  • Do use a mixture of numbers and mixed-case letters (meaning to say, may be uppercase or lowercase).
  • Do use long passwords. Eight characters would be good. But 15 characters is much better.
  • Do use a seemingly random selection of letters and numbers.

Creating a Password for Your My.LaSalle Portal Account

The same points are also essential in creating a password for your My.LaSalle portal account, so as to maintain the privacy of your e-mail messages and prevent other users from accessing your personal information.

My.Lasalle portal sets its own specific rules in accepting passwords:

  • It MUST have AT LEAST EIGHT (8) characters. Fifteen or more characters would give much better security.
  • It should NOT contain part of your user name AND/OR full name.
  • It must contain a capital letter.
  • It must contain a lowercase letter.
  • It must contain a numeric character.
  • It must contain at least one of these special characters.

The following are examples of a VALID password: cHarm3d1@, chArm3d#

It is good to create your own password convention that satisfies the above requirements but is still easy to remember.

Note: My.LaSalle portal supports CASE SENSITIVITY for password(s), so every time you login, make sure that you have typed your password accurately.

Securing Your Password

It is not enough to make a good password. It is also essential to keep your password secured and confidential by considering the following points:

  • Don't write down your password on any sheet of paper. It may get lost and someone else may use it.
  • Don't reveal a password over the phone to ANYONE.
  • Don't reveal a password in an email message.
  • Don't reveal a password to the boss.
  • Don't talk about a password in front of others.
  • Don't hint at the format of a password (e.g., "my family name").
  • Don't reveal a password on questionnaire or security forms.
  • Don't share a password with family members.
  • Don't reveal a password to co-workers while on vacation.
  • Don't use the "Remember Password" feature of applications (e.g., Internet Explorer, Eudora, Outlook, Netscape).
  • Don't write passwords down and store them anywhere in your office.
  • Do not store passwords in a file or ANY computer system (including mobile phones, PDAs, or similar devices) without encryption or any document card.

It is also worth remembering that the user name is the first part of your access code. This is why you need to keep your user name confidential as well.

References:

Hunt, C. Retrieved January 7, 2008 from Pcwebpedia Web site: http://www.pcw

eboopedia.com/password

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Mailbox Maintenance Tips

October 03, 2007

There are a number of things that you can do to help you manage your mailbox size and avoid quota issues, keep your email well-organized and free from junk email.

  • Know the storage limit of your mailbox

    First of all, you must be aware of your mailbox storage limit. Know that My.LaSalle e-mail quotas are implemented according to user classification.

    User Classification

    Warning Threshold

    Maximum Limit

    Faculty/Administrator

    195 MB

    200 MB

    Student

    15 MB

    20 MB

    Staff

    95 MB

    100 MB

    When your mailbox reaches the Warning Threshold, the Help Desk will send a warning that your mailbox is almost full. You can still send/receive emails at this state. However, you are encouraged to archive/delete old e-mails to free up space and avoid reaching the maximum storage limit. You can no longer send/receive e-mails once your mailbox reaches the Maximum Storage Limit.

    To keep track of your MLS email account’s Mailbox Size details, view the guidelines for Checking MLS Email Mailbox Size.

  • Delete old and unwanted messages from your mailbox
  • Empty the Deleted Items, Sent Items, and Junk Email folders

    Email messages you send through My.LaSalle e-mail are automatically saved in your Sent Items folder. When you delete items from this folder, or any other folder, they automatically go to the Deleted Items folder, which means although you delete items from your mailbox, they still eat up space until a specific expiration period, or until you permanently delete them from the Deleted Items folder.

  • Configure your Junk E-mail settings

    You can filter/control what e-mails you can receive by managing and changing the settings of your Junk E-mail folder through the Options menu of your My.LaSalle e-mail.

    View the guidelines for Configuring Junk E-Mail Filters in OWA.

  • Archive old messages in your Inbox

    Archiving old messages in your inbox and other folders will save you a lot of storage space in your mailbox for new incoming messages..

    View the guidelines for Archiving Emails in Microsoft Outlook.

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WiMax vs. WiFi

September 10, 2007

WiMax (802.16e) is the latest standard of wireless networking. While WiFi is a network infrastructure being used in LAN (Local Area Network) environments, WiMax is designed to provide high speed internet access in the MAN (Metropolitan Area Network).

WiMax networks are similar to WiFi in deployment. The Wimax base station/tower will beam a signal to a WiMax receiver, similar to a WiFi access point sending a signal to a laptop. The ISP would have their T3 or higher access, and would then use line of sight antennas (bridges) to connect to towers that would distribute the non-line of sight signal to MAN residential/business clients.

However, WiMax line of sight antennas operate at a higher Frequency compared to WiFi. WiMax non-line of sight towers operate on a range similar to WiFi, but unlike WiFi, distribution antennas do not have to be in the line of sight with their clients. WiMax can actually operate right next to cell phone towers with no interference. And unlike with WiFi where clients have to fight to stay associated with a given access point, WiMax automatically transfers the users to another WiMax tower when it is nearing capacity with a lot of people accessing it at once.

WiMax is a cheaper and quicker alternative than having to lay wire. Third world countries will greatly benefit from deploying WiMax networks, especially that WiMax can handle virtually all the same protocols Wifi can, including VOIP (Voice-over Internet Protocol or Internet Telephony). African countries are now going to start deploying WiMax networks instead of cell phone networks. Disaster zones can also utilize WiMax giving them the ability to distribute crisis information quickly and cheaply.

WiMax also has the potential to emerge as a real viable competitor to existing 3G technologies. Samsung already has Mobile WiMAX product in the field and other firms do as well.

WiMax base stations will have the ability to provide approximately 60 businesses with T1 access, and hundreds of homes with DSL/Cable speed access, in theory. Engineers are stating that WiMax has the capability of reaching 30 miles, but real world testing in early 2006 has shown four to eight mile working radius. Interoperability testing occurs in 2007, while actual deployments are planned to be done towards the end of the year.

References:

Meyer, E. (2006). WiMax vs. WiFi. Retrieved September 05, 2007, from

Techwarelabs Web site: http://www.techwarelabs.com/articles/other/

wimax_wifi/.

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Review: Windows Vista

September 10, 2007

Windows Vista is, as promised, the biggest new version of Windows since Windows 95. So much has changed in the incredibly long period of time between its release and of its predecessors, Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Its numerous new features include major User Interface changes with the new Windows Aero, enhanced security features with Windows Defender and Windows Backup, and optimized entertainment features with Windows Media Center.

Windows Aero is Vista’s replacement of XP’s Luna desktop, offering 3D graphical enhancements, and stunning glass-like effects including the glass-like chrome on floating windows and the translucent Start Menu and taskbar. It is highly customizable with varying degrees of translucency and various color schemes. Part of the Aero experience are Windows Flip 3D and Live thumbnails, which make switching between windows and tasks easier.

Vista’s Windows Defender is an integrated anti-spyware and anti-malware solution that works largely in the background, providing systems with round-the-clock protection. It’s been designed to silently protect PCs and only throw up warning dialogs when something wrong occurs in a system, keeping users of Vista free from inscrutable dialogs and notifications. Windows Backup on the other hand is a wizard-based utility that can backup files and folders to a hard drive, CD, DVD, or network share. Users can manually choose exactly what file types to backup and schedule how often backup will run.

In lieu of Windows Photo Gallery, Windows Media Player, Windows Vista Games, and other digital media content on a system, Windows Media Center may be utilized for entertainment. Unlike most Windows Vista applications, Media Center is designed to run full-screen, and can be accessed via remote control, typically with a dedicated Media Center PC connected to an LCD or Plasma TV. It may also be run via keyboard and mouse on a notebook or desktop PC, and can be used in windowed mode alongside other applications. Its new GUI utilizes a new organizational scheme in which content scrolls horizontally, from left to right, instead of up and down.

While Windows Vista includes modern OS features, Mac advocates can claim truthfully that many of Vista’s best features appeared first on Mac OS X. Also, since Vista has too many versions (Ultimate, Home Premium, Home Basic, Business, and Enterprise), not all features are present in each of them, which may confuse the market in deciding which to buy to get all the features they want.

What can be alarming for Microsoft is that 400 million computers around the world are working just fine with Windows XP’s stable and secure system. The challenge now is how to convince the market that XP is not good enough, and make them upgrade/switch to Vista.

References:

Microsoft Corporated. (2007). See Windows Vista. Retrieved September 05, 2007,

from Windows Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/

windowsvista/seeit/default.mspx.

Thurott, P. (2006). Windows Vista Review. Retrieved September 05, 2007, from

Paul Thurott’s Supersite for Windows Web site: http://www.winsupersite

.com/reviews/winvista.asp

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Review: Microsoft Office 2007

September 10, 2007

Microsoft had gone back to the drawing boards with the new Office product released in early 2007. Instead of creating yet another Office version with a slightly modified user interface and slightly improved features, the company has completely rethought the productivity application User Interface, and came up with one they call a more ‘result-oriented’ UI.

As a transitionary product, Office 2007 only applies the new UI to certain applications, specifically, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and parts of Outlook, while other applications retain the older Office 2003 look and feel. But despite the deep UI changes, they can all still be identified immediately as Office applications.

The main UI construct of the new Office user interface is the Ribbon, a panel that runs along the top of each application window in place of the old menus and toolbars. It is designed to expose the most commonly needed commands in a logical arrangement.

Word is the Office application that changed the most in this release. Among its new features is Quick Styles wherein users can preview styles before committing them by hovering the pointer over the style gallery. Another one is the Live Word Count that appears in the status bar next to page count; but the old word count shortcut (Alt + T + W) still works for users who have already gotten used to it. Also new are the Contextual Spell Checking and the Document Comparison feature, which divides a single Word window into a three-pane workspace.

PowerPoint 2007 benefits hugely from the highly visual Ribbon interface’s new design tools in SmartArt. It improved effects including drop shadows, perspective, and beveling, applicable to texts, graphics, and even charts. The new themes and preset color choices also make a huge improvement from PowerPoint 2003. Another remarkable new feature is the dual monitor support which enables users to blank out the presentation display if they need to do something that they do not want projected to the audience.

Outlook 2007 does not adopt the new results-oriented user interface that Microsoft created for Office 2007. The main Outlook application continues down the menus-and-toolbars path used in previous Outlook versions, while the sub windows such as New E-mail, New Contact, and New Appointment adopt the new UI. Other new features include a new vertical pane called the To-Do Bar, an instant search box, and a newly-collapsible Navigation pane for users with normal aspect ratio displays.

Office 2007 now uses Zip-compatible XML-based file structure. Whereas in Office 2003, this was available as an option, in Office 2007, it is the default. While users can still open and edit .doc files in Word, files are automatically saved in .docx format. Although there is no doubt that using XML helps improve the likelihood of successful data recovery, this may also be a problem in sending files to clients, customers, or collaborators who haven’t adopted Office 2007. Word 2000 and 2003 users are still heavy, and while this is so, users of Office 2007 will have to be diligent in manually saving files to the standard, non-XML formats such as .doc, .ppt, and .xls.

References:

PC Advisor. (2007). Microsoft Office 2007: The Definitive Review. Retrieved

September 05, 2007, from PC Advisor Web site:http://www.pcadvisor.co.

uk/reviews/index.cfm?reviewid=649.

Thurott, P. (2007). Microsoft Office 2007 Review. Retrieved September 05, 2007,

from Paul Thurott’s Supersite for Windows Web site: http://www.winsite.

com/reviews/office2007.asp.

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Microsoft Office SharePoint: Delivering Value-driven Business Solutions

September 10, 2007

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is a versatile technology designed to increase the efficiency of business processes and improve team productivity within organizations and business units.

SharePoint’s collaboration tools enable users to create team workspaces, coordinate calendars, organize documents, and receive notifications and updates promptly. Through these possibilities, users can easily access people, documents, and information needed to make more informed decisions and get tasks done more efficiently.

Among SharePoint’s notable features is its enhanced Web content management, document management, and forms management capabilities that are all well-integrated with other Office applications. Through this technology, workflows are easier to create, improving efficiency and productivity within organizations and business units.

The De La Salle University will soon be utilizing this technology as part of its preparation in achieving its 10-year IT Plan (2003-2013).

References:

Dunwoodie, B. (2006). SharePoint 2007 Review - Six Pillars of MOSS. Retrieved

September 05, 2007, from CMS Wire Web site: http://www.cmswire.com/

cms/cms-reviews/sharepoint2007-review-six-pillars-of-moss-000922.php.

Sampson, M. (2007). Sharepoint 2007 for Collaboration. Retrieved September 05,

2007, from Messaging News Magazine Web site: http://www.messaging

news.com/magazine/2006/11/features/sharepoint_2007_for_collaborat

ion.html.

Microsoft Corporated. (2007). Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Retrieved

September 05, 2007, from Microsoft Office Online Web site: http://office.

microsoft.com/enus/sharepointserver/FX100492001033.aspx.

Microsoft TechNet. (2006). Windows SharePoint Services Frequently Asked

Questions. Retrieved September 05, 2007, from Microsoft TechNet Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsserver/sharepoint/tech

info/faq.mspx.

Rapoza, J. (2007). SharePoint Server 2007 Is an (Able) Jack of All Trades. Retrieved

September 05, 2007, from e-Week Web site: http://www.eweek.com/art

icle2/0,1895,2082618,00.asp.

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Understanding E-mail Spoofing

February 24, 2009

E-mail spoofing is a term used to describe fraudulent e-mail activities in which the return e-mail address of an e-mail message is altered to make it look like the message came from someone else when it actually originated from another, or from a spammer. Sometimes, spammers make it appear like the message actually came from a trusted source, including those a user knows or regularly exchanges e-mails with, which makes it easy to persuade a recipient to do something such as give out confidential information like passwords and personal information.

This fraudulent activity being done by spammers is actually a form of identity theft. One of the reasons spammers use someone else’s e-mail address is so they can be free from being subjected to anti-spam laws.

A form of e-mail spoofing is phishing, which is the practice of attempting to obtain users’ credit card or online banking information. This may lead to substantial financial loss on the part of the recipient if extra precautions are not taken.

The De La Salle University, Manila computing community has recently been receiving a number of spam e-mails; some of them, even appearing to have come from users of the university. A spoof e-mail most of the time received by our users appears to have come from the university’s "web services office".


Users are easily swayed by this e-mail message especially that it appears to have come from De La Salle. The Information Technology Center (ITC), including its Web Team, will never ask for users’ passwords through e-mail. So should you receive any more e-mails asking for your password, regardless of the sender, please disregard the e-mail.

ITC is currently working on this issue. Rest assured that developments are underway to resolve this problem.

References:

Wikipedia. (2009). E-mail Spoofing. Retrieved February 17, 2009 from

Wikipedia Web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail_spoofing.

Wikipedia. (2009). Phishing. Retrieved February 17, 2009 from

Wikipedia Web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing.

Shinder, D. (2004). Understanding E-mail Spoofing. Retrieved February 17,

2009 from Windows Security Web site: http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Email-Spoofing.html

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